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  1. #1
    Hoosyermom is offline Member
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    cataract surgery gone wrong

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? IN
    I will try to give as many details as needed and try to make it as brief as possible...My grandmother had cataract surgery on April 28 of this year. She is on a blood thinner and when scheduling the surgery told the doctor doing this surgery that she was on it and if it should be stopped before the surgery and the doctor told her no that it wasnt necessary to stop it. This doctor also did not contact the clinic she goes to for the blood thinner like is required.
    Well, the surgery went very wrong and her eye started hemoraging (sp?) during the surgery and they had to call in the main doctor (who founded the eye center she was at) to try and stop the bleeding. They managed to stop the bleeding but were not able to replace the lens in her eye so she is now blind in that eye and still has sutures in that eye.
    When the doctor finally spoke to me afterwards he told me (the main doctor that had to be called in not the one that did the surgery) told me and my daughter that the hemoraging was caused by her being on blood thinners! I had to start taking her to a retina specialist and the blood clot had to be drained from behind her eye. She is now unable to drive and because of the lack of vision on that side has tripped and fallen several times and because of all the meds she has had to be on it keeps affecting her blood levels from anywhere to being way too thin so we had to be very careful that she didnt get any injuries to her blood being too thick. The nurses at the coumidin cliic told us that when the doctor there found out what happened he was so mad that he was throwing things and was very upset cause she should have been taken off the blood thinner and they said he never acts like that.
    Like I stated before she is no longer able to drive has fallen several times over things because she cant see out of that eye at all and can barely see out of her other eye as it still has a cataract in it cause they had to cancel that surgery due to what happened to the other eye.
    I am wondering if we would have any case what-so-ever for them not contacting the coumidin clinic about the surgery and allowing her to stay on the blood thinner and this happened and the doctor told me himself that that is what caused her eye to hemorage?
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like it wouldn't hurt to speak with an attorney.
  3. #3
    mizrachfaith is offline Junior Member
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    Hi!

    Just thinking that the doctor practice negligence in your grandmother's case. He was supposed to do something however didn't do it and that's negligence. Any men and women in hospital scrubs must do their duties for they oath to do it. That doctor of your grandmother must be sued for his negligence eh.
  4. #4
    lya
    lya is offline Senior Member
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    There are several safeguards in place to avoid such outcome.

    The patient receives a pre-procedure set of instructions that are very specific about which medications to stop---aspirin products and blood thinners are listed.

    Look for these instructions. They should be in g'mom's possession--the eye doc's office provides this when surgery is scheduled--the sheet has pics of three types of eyedrops to be used pre-operatively (2 bottles) and post-op (3 bottles).

    The pre-procdure documentation (at the surgical center) includes the patient's response to when he/she last took each medication. If the patient listed a bloodthinner as a current medication, the documentation should state this as well as the date of the last dose. The documentation should be signed by an RN.

    The eye-doc should have known that any bloodthinner should be stopped HOWEVER the eye doc is NOT the final word on this; the prescribing MD is. Apparently, the patient failed to discuss the upcoming surgery with the prescribing doc; that is the patient's fault.

    Grandmother may consult with an attorney.

    Let this be a lesson to you and your family--grandmother needs someone to review such matters beforehand, not afterwards. Any medical procedure affects one's ability to comprehend effectively; everyone needs that second person for safety in planning and in recovering.
  5. #5
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lya View Post

    The eye-doc should have known that any bloodthinner should be stopped HOWEVER the eye doc is NOT the final word on this; the prescribing MD is. Apparently, the patient failed to discuss the upcoming surgery with the prescribing doc; that is the patient's fault.
    .
    The patients fault? Patient specifically asked the operating physician and was told no need to stop the thinners. By saying that, that doctor made himself liable. He had the option of stating the patient needed to verify with the prescribing doctor but he gave medical advice which was contrary to the proper actions. He should have told the patient to contact the prescribing doctor and not given any advice as to stopping the meds or not.
  6. #6
    lealea1005 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    The patients fault? Patient specifically asked the operating physician and was told no need to stop the thinners. By saying that, that doctor made himself liable. He had the option of stating the patient needed to verify with the prescribing doctor but he gave medical advice which was contrary to the proper actions. He should have told the patient to contact the prescribing doctor and not given any advice as to stopping the meds or not.
    Unless OP was in the room for the discussion, we really don't know what was said. The patient's medications would be listed in the pre-op history & physical that is required before surgery, as well as any instruction regarding withholding certain meds before the procedure. If coumadin was listed, it should have been addressed by the surgeon or whomever was doing the pre-op and cleared grandma for surgery.
  7. #7
    lya
    lya is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lealea1005 View Post
    Unless OP was in the room for the discussion, we really don't know what was said. The patient's medications would be listed in the pre-op history & physical that is required before surgery, as well as any instruction regarding withholding certain meds before the procedure. If coumadin was listed, it should have been addressed by the surgeon or whomever was doing the pre-op and cleared grandma for surgery.
    While I am in agreement with your reply and I know what you mean by "clearing", I believe it is of utmost importance to address the coumadin part of being "cleared". That must come from the MD who prescribed the coumadin; to do otherwise is to predispose an a-fib patient to suffering a heart attack or stroke, a stent patient to stent occlusion, and so on.

    It is an area of standard practice that needs to be reviewed by the medical community. Too frequently, an eye surgeon, specifically in field of cataract removal surgery, advises a patient to stop anti-coagulant therapy 7 to 10 days before surgery and nobody from the surgeon's office does more than leave a message with the pt's prescribing doctor's office saying the patient is having surgery on X date. Although acceptabe in standard of practice, it fails the patient's safety and can lead to pt injury, which is why each and every patient for whom coumadin is prescribed MUST receive teaching from the MD or the hospital pharmacist before discharge (if the pt is in the hospital).

    When anticoagulant therapy is initiated and coumadin therapy is begun, the pt receives standardized and required patient information/teaching that is specific and repetitively reinforces that the patient is NOT to stop the medication without prior MD approval (the prescribing MD who, in the literature, is referred to as 'your doctor').

    if the patient follows the coumadin therapy instructions, the prescribing MD will manage the coumadin and surgery can be performed safely.
  8. #8
    Hoosyermom is offline Member
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    Thank you to everyone who responded. Yes all of her meds were listed on pre-op forms and she asked the nurse if she should stop taking the blood thinner and the nurse had the doctor come in and my grandmother asked her if she should stop her blood thinner as when she has iinjections in her hip for her arthritis she is taken off of it for five days prior to the injection and the doctor told her no that she could still take it and that it wouldnt affect her surgery. This was told to her by the doctor that was performing her surgery, the doctor that founded the clinic she was at was the one that had to be called in to stop the hemoraging in her eye and he is the one that told me afterwards that her blood thinner is what caused this to happen and told me that in his twenty years of practice this is only the second time this has ever happened. Also, the doctor perfoming the surgery never contacted the coumidin clinic like is required.
    Last edited by Hoosyermom; 08-17-2010 at 03:28 PM.

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